Goreham mum on TIA, endorsement in chairman’s race
by Geoff Folsom
April 20, 2012 12:01 AM | 3993 views | 15 15 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — Northwest Cobb Commissioner Helen Goreham said Thursday there is no chance she will join the four-person race for county chair.

“That is not in my future,” she said.

But the three-term Republican said she will also refrain from endorsing anyone in the party’s July 31 primary, which now includes incumbent Chairman Tim Lee; Bill Byrne, who served as chairman from 1992 to 2002; retired business executive Larry Savage; and former Marine Col. Mike Boyce.

“In almost all local races, I stay neutral,” Goreham said before her hour-long town hall meeting at the Cobb County Safety Village. “I’m going to have to work with whoever succeeds in their campaign.”

Likewise, Goreham declined to say how she will vote in the July 31 Transportation Improvement Act referendum, which, if passed by voters in a 10-county metro Atlanta area, would bring in more than $8 billion to pay for road and mass transit projects over 10 years. The projects, including nearly $900 million for a bus rapid transit line in Cobb, would be paid for with a 1 percent sales tax.

“I don’t think it adds anything to the whole subject matter, and also I think it is a very individual vote,” she said. “I don’t want to sway anyone’s feelings one way or another.”

Dave Smith, 47, of west Cobb, told Goreham during the meeting that he thinks the TIA referendum should be held in November, when more people traditionally vote.

“It’s not ethical government,” Smith said of the July date. “Half the people are out of town. I think that’s a terrible way to decide it.”

The Safety Village took up a large portion of the meeting, with Goreham beginning the event by showing a video about the facility, which teaches around 20,000 Cobb County second- and fourth-graders a year about fire prevention and other safety measures. She ended the meeting by taking some of the meeting’s 30 attendees on a tour of the eight-acre site on Al Bishop Drive.

The Safety Village has been under the microscope because the Citizen Oversight Committee, a group of Cobb residents the Board of Commissioners appointed to find inefficiencies in county government, recommended that the county seek ways to reduce funding to the facility, including having school districts pay for more of it or turning it over to a private company.

Goreham said no further developments have taken place on the issue since county officials determined the recommendation will need more discussion.

Goreham also highlighted the county’s new $2.7 million Senior Wellness Center at 1150 Powder Springs St., in the Powder Springs Shopping Center.

Rochelle James, 46, of Marietta said she was excited about the new center, which will have a ribbon-cutting in August.

“Having that makes me want to stay here as a senior,” she said.
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West Cobb Voter
April 21, 2012
Darn it, sounds like West Cobb still is in need of a commissioner who will lead, speak and represent the best interest of the folks of West Cobb - Helen needs to resign now or perform as our commissioner !
Government Waste
April 20, 2012
The safety village is a gross waste and misappropriation of the public trust a tax payer money. Close it down! Senior wellness is another boondogle and waste of public money. If you are a senior, join a good Bible-believing Bible-preaching church. There you will find a loving supportive group of people who have your interest at heart. It is called a community of people helping each other.
Stupid, Again
April 20, 2012
If the Cobb BOC appointed a Citizen Oversight Committee, then they SHOULD FOLLOW THE RECOMMENDATIONS MADE by that committee. Ditch The Safety Village (aka the "Hankerson Honor House")!!! Fireman at firehouses across America have been demostrating fire safety for decades -- all without a costly state-of-art facility like The Safety Village.

Second, we don't need a Senior Wellness Center!!! We just closed one Senior Center last year, one with an adult daycare facility. Individual wellness is achieved individually and by private-sector facilities.

In Cobb County, we have continually allowed more facilities to be opened and operated by taxpayers when the private sector can and does a great job of providing the same offerings.

If there is such a fiscal crisis in Cobb, here are two ways to reduce costs: (1) Close the Safety Village or sell it to a private party and (2) Don't open the Senior Wellness Center. Enough wasting our hard-earned tax dollars!!! We need every cent we earn to exist in Cobb!!!
April 20, 2012
Most of the members of the Cobb County Commission are only going to pay attention to the Oversight Committee recommendations that support their own priorities and agendas.

It was a tactic to try to make Cobb County taxpayers believe the commissioners and bureaucrats in Cobb County were really interested in making some substantive changes that would impact the efficiency and effectiveness of our county government.

Little did they suspect the Oversight Committee would actually do what they were tasked to do.

Obviously it was a not so clever ruse that backfired on them.

I bet they don't do that again!!
Kennesaw Voter
April 20, 2012
I voted against Helen Gorham and will vote against her in the future...she is no conservative when it comes to taxes and spending.

I will vote against Tim Lee as he too is a loser of a Chairman.

I will vote against the TIA (TSPLOST) as well since this tax is a complete failure for Cobb county.

I also voted against Mark Mathews for the same reasons - Kennesaw has the highest city property tax rate in Cobb County - REDICULOUS....and don't tell me Marietta's is higher because Marietta includes their school system taxes.

Wake up folks...VOTE in JULY - No to Tim Lee and TSPLOST too.
Henry Boaz
April 20, 2012
Never qualified for public office in the first place, Goreham should have left the public scene years ago. Ever try dealing with her staff? They are some of the meanest nasty people in Cobb county.
Ned Baxter
April 20, 2012
Mr. Boaz,

You are probably being treated as you treat others. Why don't you quit your whining and quit asking the government to do everything for you including wiping your backside!
April 21, 2012
Henry, your name should be BOZO, you have no idea what you are talking about. Her staff is very friendly and always helpful, considering your comments YOU were probable mean to her staff. Judging by your comments you are the problem not her staff. I find her staff most pleasant to deal with and very efficient. AND, Commissioner Goreham is the best commissioner out of all of them, she always responds and makes the proper decisions that represent her district. Bozo, you should move to district 2, you would fit in well with that bunch.
Rick Z
April 20, 2012
The news story mentions that passage of TIA would "bring in" $8 billion before mentioning in the next sentence it would be paid for with a 1 percent sales tax. Wouldn't it have been more neutral to say it would raise $8 billion through a 1 percent sales tax? It's not "bringing in" if we're paying for it.
Tell the WHOLE truth
April 20, 2012
This article states: "The projects, including nearly $900 million for a bus rapid transit line in Cobb, would be paid for with a 1 percent sales tax."

The TRUTH is that this bus line being proposed and that would be paid for with Cobb TSPLOST dollars would actually only be about a mile or two in Cobb County. The remaining several miles would be in Fulton County. It's disingenuous to say it's "in Cobb". Cobb taxpayers would get VERY little out of the TSPLOST because the bulk of the so-called Cobb portion of the TSPLOST is actually in Fulton County!!!

Does the Cumberland CID and the Cobb Chamber of commerce have the MDJ in their back pocket too?
Samuel Adams
April 20, 2012
As one of Helen's constituents and longtime supporter, I'm disappointed she won't reveal her feelings or vote on the Transportation tax. I will have second thoughts about supporting her in the future, because I am heartily against this regional new tax, pushed through by the ARC, Mayor Kasim, the CIDs and other power-hungry local politicians who claim to be conservative or republican and then want to waste our tax dollars on boondoggles like a $110 million plus, years-in-the-making, money-sucking rail line, smack in the middle of a recession/depression when the foreclosure rate in the county is at an all time high as well as joblessness and hard times.

If Ms. Goreham won't reveal whether she supports this tax, will she reveal whether she believes her constituents will benefit from a rail station at Cumberland Mall? It's over a half hour drive from Brookstone to I-75, Ms. Goreham. Why would I do that and then divert myself to Cumberland to spend another hour catching a train downtown, when by that time I could be halfway to Macon if I just stay on 75??? This is a no brainer, for Ms. Goreham and for northwest Cobb voters. She's been in office long enough now that her courage has left her, and she's more interested in pleasing her colleagues and business supporters than her constituents.

Again, I'm a supporter, but wish she would hear me, so I can return to admiring her.
Kennesaw Resident
April 20, 2012
Helen won't run because she won't be elected. Also, the article should correctly refer to her as a three-term Republican in Name Only (RINO).
April 20, 2012
Well its safe to say that cobb countians are blessed that she won't be running for county chair and that she is in no way qualified to even run much less win. If she is confused over a re-zoning which was about as easy as it gets, how could she possibly take on more. If I were the people in her district I would be worried.
Boot Tim Lee
April 20, 2012
Her silence about Tim Lee speaks volumes. I for one want him GONE! Tim Lee voted to raise taxes and is trying to shove a $6.14 Billion tax increase on us all. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, Boot Tim Lee out on election day!
Sad but true
April 23, 2012
The tax increase was Helen's idea and she really pushed it through but with Tim Lee's help. Both have to go!
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